Modern life can be fast-paced and some days are extra-challenging. Even if you're pretty good at the basics of self-care, you may find times that you need a little extra TLC. What do you do when you you're having one of those days and your time and circumstances limit your options? You can prepare in advance for those kinds of situations by having a "self-care" kit on hand.
What is a self-care kit? I imagine it as a sort of wellness gift basket — full of samples designed to nurture your well-being. The kit might be physical, virtual, or both. The most important thing that it is portable and accessible whenever you want it. You might, for example, have a folder on your computer that include some components, or perhaps a notebook, or maybe a bag or container. It just depends on what you decide to put in it!
Your kit should be custom-designed by you, but I recommend including components that address these five essentials:
1) Things that inspire you - Consider quotes, pictures, videos, or songs that have special meaning for you.
2) Things that make you laugh - These might be cartoons, sayings, pictures, recordings, or videos. Have you seen something hilarious on Facebook or Youtube? Consider saving electronic links in a location where you can access them again!
3) Things that connect you with special people or memories — Think about special cards, notes, or pictures that remind you of the ways you connect or make a difference for those who are special to you. You might even compose a nice note to yourself!
4) Things that make you feel pampered — Items that appeal to your senses are especially good choices for this category. You might keep a small tin of favorite teas. Maybe you'd enjoy a candle or some aromatherapy. Some great lotion for giving yourself a quick hand massage is another possibility. You could have a recording of some soothing music or a guided relaxation or meditation exercise.
5) Things that evoke a sense of gratitude — Include items that remind you of what appreciate or count as blessings in your life. This might be pictures of people. places, or events. It could also be a list that you've made, or perhaps a gratitude journal that you keep.
These are just a few ideas to get started. What else would you consider essentials in your self-care kit? Please post your ideas below or let me know if you've tried this idea and what you thought!